A Cleaning Hazard

Black WalnutWhen it happens, I just “go with it.” Yes, I was in the mood to clean. Once I cleaned an entire month. (Unbeknownst to me, a family of mice had scheduled a family reunion in the back bedroom two weeks before guests were expected for a family wedding.) No one wanted to repeat the marathon vacuuming, dusting, sorting, mopping, and laundering that cleaning involved. My husband, an accountant, is close to determining the total cost of traps, peanut butter, steel wool, and flea medicine required to convert the outdoor cat into an indoor cat.

Recently, though, in anticipation of a family reunion, I attempted to clean a storage shed. I wanted to find the lawn chairs, water guns, croquet set, horse shoes, etc…. Previous efforts to clean this shed had halted upon my sighting of a snake skin.

After an hour’s work in the dimly-lighted shed, I moved a box and felt something drop onto my foot. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw movement on the floor. I SCREAMED.

“What is it?” John calmly asked and sauntered across the yard.

I pointed at a small, grayish-black object. “Is it a mouse or rat?”

“This?” he asked and held up a black walnut.

Well–it might have been a “vicious” walnut.


Happy Father’s Day

Father's DayMy father died 18 years ago—the same year Roy Rogers and Gene Autry did. Daddy would like that fact.

He would also like the fact his two-year-old great-grandson, fascinated with cars, constantly carries a small one around with him. My dad always wiped either the dust or mud off his car before parking it in the garage. Once, he attended the Indianapolis 500 race. As a young child, I sat on the hood of our car watching drag races at an abandoned WWII airfield with him. I’m sure he would enjoy NASCAR races on television.

I can picture my farmer/cattleman/implement dealer dad shaking his head, questioning why two of his grandsons work for a company that manufactures “green” rather than “blue” farm equipment. Still, I know he is pleased they, both fathers, get up and go to work every morning to support their families.

I don’t remember celebrating Father’s Day with Daddy when I was a child—probably because immediately after church, he hurried to the harvest field. I do remember riding in the combine cab with him while we chewed “wheat” gum.

So Daddy, I hope you have a Happy Father’s Day in heaven—and are listening to Roy and Gene!

Who is that?

Old photos“Mom, Mom, where are you?” my friend’s son asked.

“Here, at the kitchen table, behind the photos,” she answered.

“Where? I still don’t see you.”

“Here at the table. I’m looking for a wedding picture of your grandparents and thought I’d go ahead and organize the family photos,” my friend said and peered around the multitude of two-foot high stacks of photos.

“Who are these people? Do you know any of them?”

“Sorry, can’t help you, Mom. Would you like me to get you a sandwich or something to drink?”

“No, but maybe you could help me get this mile of double-stick archival tape out of my hair.”

It was a couple of months before my friend and her husband were able to eat at their kitchen table again. I’m grateful she shared her experience with me, though, for I was considering organizing the five generations of family photos tossed together in plastic tubs, albums, and shoe boxes (courtesy of my mother) that I have. There are pictures on my camera, phone, and computer, too. However, I took those pictures and can identify the people. It’s the dates and places of all the sunrises I’m not sure about…or maybe they are sunsets….


Turn Here

Maps for FloridaJohn and I are not necessarily technically challenged. We have smart phones and can send and receive texts with attachments. We still get confused retrieving a voice mail, but mostly, we are good. While confident of our ability to handle a GPS, we didn’t think we needed one for our 3,000 mile road trip.

Armed with computer printouts of three different routes, a two-inch thick Triple A book of suggested routes, and a friend’s list of highways and small towns guaranteed to keep us off busy Interstates, we began our journey—without the 2016 Atlas. It was in the other car at home. We did have the 2007 Atlas.

We also have a nice assortment of CD’s–five of which, we both enjoy. They, too, were in the other car with the 2016 Atlas. We did fine. We did go down the wrong way on a couple of one-way streets. Fortunately, we were in one of those small towns on a Sunday afternoon. Once, too, we thought we were last in line at an intersection with a stop sign and waited five minutes behind three parked cars.

Still, it was a great trip! Fortunately, after almost 46 years of marriage, we know when to keep our mouths shut.